Friday 5 May 2023

Remembering Alitalia Flight 112

Alitalia Flight 112 was a scheduled flight travelling from Roma-Fiumicino Airport (FCO/LIRF), Italy to Palermo-Punta Raisi Airport (PMO/LICJ), Italy. On the 5th of May 1972, it crashed into Mount Longa, about 3 miles (4.8 km) southwest of Palermo while on approach to the airport, killing all 115 people on board. Investigators believe that the crew had 3 miles visibility and did not adhere to the established vectors issued by air traffic control. It remains the deadliest single-aircraft disaster in Italy, and the second deadliest behind the Linate Airport disaster in 2001. 

The flight contacted Palermo Approach around 9:10 PM stating to be at 74 nautical miles (137 km) from VOR. Around 10:23 PM, the aircraft hit a crest 935 meters (1,980 feet) high, about 300 feet (91 m) below the top of the mountain and slid for a long time on the ground with its wings, its fuselage, and its four engines, until it disintegrated in the successive hits against the rocks of the crest. Part of the debris and bodies of the victims rolled on the mountain side (Carini side) from where the kerosene fire was witnessed. The wreckage was strewn across a 2.5-mile (4.0 km) area, so wide it took rescue teams three hours to reach it. Later on, some witnesses at Carini said that they had seen the aircraft on fire before the crash.
This incident is the worst in Alitalia's history.

Aircraft Information:
Airline: Alitalia
Aircraft: Douglas DC-8-43
Registration: I-DIWB
Serial Number: 45625
Engines: 4 Rolls-Royce Conway 508-12
First Flew: May 1961
Age: 11 Yrs

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